Royal speeches

Oct.09.2009. HM King Mohammed VI gives speech at the opening of parliament

> 08/10/2009

HM the King gives speech at the opening of parliament (the first session of the third legislative year of the eighth legislature)

HM King Mohammed VI gave, here on Friday, a speech at the opening of the first session of the third legislative year of the eighth legislature.

Here follows the full text of his majesty's speech:
Praise be to God

May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Members of Parliament,

I declare open this parliamentary year, following an electoral process whereby new local government councils, representatives of professional bodies and a third of the members of the Upper House have been elected.

 Though important, these elections are just one part of the democratic process, and whatever the difficulties affecting that process, I am determined to keep up our endeavours to further develop it in order to preserve our important, irreversible gains and, with a keen sense of resolve and mobilization, to correct whatever shortcomings there may be.

Our shared objective is to make sure democratic practice becomes a deep-rooted culture to which we are all deeply committed. We do not want it to be merely a set of formal procedures, or a brief opportunity for engaging in outbidding tactics, instead of dealing with matters that are far more important to our homeland and our citizens.

Elected bodies, particularly Parliament, should serve as bastions of genuine democracy in our country. They should be at the forefront of our efforts to promote comprehensive development, to ensure our citizens a dignified life and to preserve our steadfast unity.

I am addressing you at a time when we have either launched or speeded up the implementation of major projects and several key, good governance reforms.

This is a critical point in time, marked by a global economic and financial crisis, which means you have to be effectively involved in the national collective drive to confront the negative repercussions of the crisis and use them as an incentive for introducing the necessary reforms or corrective measures.

Given the current national environment and the broader, international context, economic and social issues now top the concerns of citizens and institutions alike.

They are also at the heart of public policies, constructive party action and an efficient parliament.

This means the country must be equipped with good governance institutions in the area of development in order to support participatory democracy. Thanks to the latter, our country has become a model in terms of involving the nation’s resources in the management of public affairs.

In this respect, I should like to reiterate the need to adopt the legal framework for the Economic and Social Council.

This Council must be set up and effectively launched in coordination with the various national institutions concerned.

The aim is to develop a model Moroccan economic and social council that serves as an expert constitutional institution thanks to the quality of the advice and recommendations it gives regarding the nation’s chief economic issues.

The Council’s efficiency and credibility will hinge on its composition, which means it should be made up of qualified experts and specialists with proven competence in development issues.

The Council’s diverse make-up should include representatives of the nation’s forces, productive sectors, socioeconomic and professional institutions, as well as qualified members of civil society and a substantial number of women.

In accordance with my wish to involve in the council all skilled Moroccans, wherever they may be, this body must be open to all competent nationals, both at home and abroad.

Distinguished Members of Parliament,

I expect the Council to serve as a watchdog and as a powerhouse of proposals for public policy guidelines in economic, social and sustainable development sectors.

It should be a constitutional forum for deep reflection and constructive dialogue between its members in order to bring major social contracts to fruition.

As for the social dialogue needed to settle labour issues or disputes, there is a specific framework for that. Labour disputes must be addressed by the parties and public authorities concerned in a responsible way, keeping in mind the nation’s best interests.
The Council is expected to give priority to drawing up - in the foreseeable future - the new social charter I have called for, and to give its opinion on the coordination and interplay between development plans and sector-based policies. It should also seek to give concrete substance to the regional dimension of those plans.

I also ask the Government to take whatever measures are needed to avoid inconsistencies between the Council’s powers and those of bodies and institutions operating in the same field of competence and to prevent them from overlapping.

As you know, the Economic and Social Council will serve as an advisory body for both the executive and legislative branches.

In accordance with my wish to ensure more efficient executive and legislative action, I expect the new council to build on its expertise and contribute, in particular, to enhancing the performance of the Government and of Parliament.

Our ultimate objective is to enhance the status and credibility of Parliament, a goal which requires that you show stronger commitment to addressing the main development issues which are of concern to the country and the citizens.

The setting up of this new council is a further step towards good governance in the area of development. I want the latter to be a pillar of our action to consolidate the dignity of our people and contribute to effective citizenship.

I hope good governance for development will strengthen national solidarity and social justice. Pursuing the reform of the education system is essential in this regard.

We have to increase awareness about what has been achieved in this field, and at the same time underscore the long, arduous path that lies ahead. This task requires unstinting efforts and a firm belief in the crucial role state schools play in terms of providing equal opportunities for all, and in serving as a vehicle for civic values and as a talent pool for human development.

In addition to the above, we shall continue to consolidate our achievements in the area of institutional good governance. This is a sector I have consistently sought to promote, particularly through a comprehensive reform of the judiciary, advanced regionalization and extensive devolution. These are the basic requirements for the in-depth institutional reform to which we aspire.

A new Morocco is about to emerge as a consequence of the bold reforms I have launched, and whose follow-up and monitoring I am keen to ensure.

As I strongly believe in the sanctity of Parliament, I should like to insist that the credibility of your action hinges on your strong involvement in the success of the basic reforms I am spearheading, and on your ability to defend the Moroccanness of the Sahara.

This twofold objective requires fruitful initiatives, committed dialogue, advanced legislation and efficient supervision on your part.

I shall remain a staunch defender of the interests of our nation, working untiringly at the forefront of those who seek to build our country on the rock-solid base of unity, progress, stability, full sovereignty and undiminished dignity for all.

“My Lord, make this a City of Peace, and feed its people with fruits”. True is the Word of God.

Wasslamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.